Back in the summer Otis got in the habit of throwing himself to the ground during a tantrum. At first this little stunt terrified me. “Don’t hurt my baby!” I’d yell at, well, my baby.
After the 2,984,359th backwards dive to the ground I was immune to the tactic. Sure. Throw yourself on the ground, Little Buddy. I’ll be here to kiss it because that crap looks painful.
One afternoon he started in on a tantrum and happened to be standing in my parents’ driveway. I knew what was coming next so I shuffled him over to the grass where he predictably sat down and threw himself to the ground while screaming bloody murder because I don’t know.
At almost the exact same time he hit the ground a car playing very loud rap music passed by.
Otis loves him some rap music.
He immediately switched gears. Laying in the middle of my parents’ yard the tantrum quickly subsided and gave way to a toddler-sized dance off. He just laid there, forgetting his troubles, and getting lost in the music.
This was filed into my Things to Remember about Otis memory bank for whenever he gets a bad grade or dumps some ugly girl (because why would anyone dump him?).
You feeling bad, Little Buddy? Let’s dance those feelings out.
Figuring out how to discipline Otis when we are in public has been… fun. I hate having an audience for any task (seriously, ask me to chop a tomato in front of you and watch me crumble in anxiety). Disciplining my favorite person in front of you is at the top of the list.
So far, time out has worked beautifully for us. At my mom’s house when Otis starts in on a fit I usually ask him to stand at a door for 2 minutes.
Now, Otis doesn’t have a ton of words, but he has become a master at using the words he does have.
Me: Go stand at the door. You’ll be done soon.
Otis: Done? (starts to walk off like he’d satisfied the terms of his punishment)
Me: Back to the door. You’ll be done in 2 minutes.
Otis: No… (like it was a negotiation)
This “negotiation” took place in front of my mom. And she was all…
The minute she’s laughing, I’m laughing, and all hope is lost for discipline.
And that is why I hate an audience.
My little boy is like a Level 82 in heart string pulling.
The minute he is sent to time out he turns around, gives me his cutest grin, and is all, “Hug?”
While I’m trying to be hard.
Be for real.
Of course I’ll give you a hug.
Now back to time out.